Interactions and relationships among organisms and their environment. This includes biotic and abiotic (non-living/environmental) factors that impact organisms.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

1
vote
1answer
19 views

How important is dead wood to the ecology of a forest and how much dead wood should remain?

I have a local 'forest management group' in my area. One of the jobs they do is to thin out the forest by removing some of the trees. They then sell the wood for firewood. I want to tell them to ...
2
votes
1answer
46 views

Can galls be formed from mutualistic relationships?

According to Wikipedia, galls (cecidia) are formed by parasitic insects and mites like gall wasps (Neuroterus albipes). At some metamorphic stage, these organisms alter cell division processes in ...
4
votes
1answer
125 views

Selection Pressure on Orca Whale Coloration

What is the proposed selection pressure that leads to the distinctive coloration of Orca whales? I can find nothing in the literature.
-1
votes
0answers
40 views

Is there a package or a software to calculate an holey fitness landscape?

The holey landscape is interesting to enable the population to move from an adaptive peak to another without crossing a valley of low fitness. A fitness landscape is computable in R with a GAM model ...
19
votes
5answers
9k views

Why haven't prey evolved the ability to always outrun their predators?

I can understand why some prey can't outrun a recently evolved species. However, since cheetahs have existed for so long, why haven't its prey evolved to always outrun it, driving cheetahs to ...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

Are there species that occupy several roles in the food hierarchy?

Are there species that occupy several roles in the food hierarchy? By role, I am referring to producer, primary consumer, secondary consumer, tertiary consumer, quaternary consumer and so on. ...
17
votes
1answer
214 views

How do burrowing animals get enough oxygen?

Tree borers make a small hole in a tree. At the end of it, they chew on wood to elongate the tunnel. They digest food and grow. All this takes oxygen. The entrance to the tunnel is generally small. ...
7
votes
1answer
86 views

Primary Productivity of Oceans

80% of the world's photosynthesis takes place in the ocean. Despite this, oceans are also said to have low productivity - they cover 75% of the earth's surface, but out of the annual 170 billion ...
-2
votes
1answer
59 views

Based on this diagram, how do you deduce the keystone species? [closed]

How would you figure out what the keystone species is in the following textbook question? (questions 1 and 2 at the bottom of the image) Based on my knowledge, a keystone species helps to maintain ...
1
vote
0answers
41 views

How can I calculate Shannon-Wiener diversity index in caves with different kind of habitats and different sampling methods?

I would like to start a monitoring in different caves, compare caves of different age and length, and find out if there are any correlations between these factors and their diversity. I was thinking ...
6
votes
3answers
265 views

What is called the “area size that an animal usually lives in”?

What is called the "area size that an animal usually lives in" or "needs for a normal life"? Is there any specific term?
4
votes
1answer
46 views

Capture recapture for only two visit assuming a open population model

I have a study system where I’m doing a capture recapture analysis. I mark fish in one year and I’m recapturing a subset of them the next year. I only have 2 capture events. Since a lot of time has ...
3
votes
2answers
43 views

Different Effects of Detection Probability Between Presence and Count Data at the Same Location

I'm modeling habitat suitability for a large, mobile animal using occurrence data (presence only - I have no true absence data in this case) collected from camera traps (stations with automatic ...
1
vote
1answer
32 views

How to compare diversity between different ecosystems?

I've used the Shannon Wiener Diversity Index for a single ecosystem (species as categorical variables). Do you know any alternative indices, especially ones that compare diversity between different ...
10
votes
2answers
375 views

Are there any side-effects from a mosquitoes extinction?

Suppose that we have the ability to make mosquitoes extinct, what would be the likely effects (on disease and ecosystems for example) of such extinction? Essentially, what roles in nature do ...
2
votes
1answer
68 views

How do you know which organisms are keystone species?

I know that keystone species are those that play a crucial role in an ecosystem, but since all species are interdependent upon each other and each occupy their own niche, aren't they all important? ...
0
votes
0answers
72 views

Measuring Gross Primary Productivity (GPP) using Light and Dark Bottle methods: Sample Question

The following question is taken from my Cliffnotes AP Biology 4th edition practice exam and it deals with the light and dark method for measuring gross primary productivity. In a classroom ...
1
vote
0answers
32 views

Evolution of parasite into ideal parasite [duplicate]

An ideal parasite is a parasite which thrives within a host without harming it (according to my NCERT textbook). Then, quite obviously, why hasn't that happened yet? I mean, natural selection can ...
4
votes
0answers
29 views

Do Asian giant hornets (Vespa mandarinia) prey on other nests of Asian giant hornets?

Asian giant hornets are known to attack nests of other bees and wasps, but should they encounter another nest of their own, would they attack it?
2
votes
0answers
10 views

Stable isotope sample preparation: Bone Collagen

I am performing research in which I need to extract bone collagen from the foot bones of American Beaver (Castor canadensis). I have read through the literature fairly thoroughly on both the ...
3
votes
1answer
163 views

Mesophytic Climax community in succession?

My textbook says that in all cases of ecological succession (xerarch, hydrarch, etc.), the ultimate climax community, assuming constancy of environment, is a mesic community. Xeric or hydric pioneers ...
5
votes
0answers
30 views

Why do Arctic predators accumulate vitamin A?

Top predators in the Arctic are known to accumulate vitamin A, often to levels that are toxic for human consumption. A 2012 study by Senoo, Imai, et al. found that the livers of several predator ...
14
votes
3answers
148 views

Where can I find historical data on world-wide ecology parameters?

I hope this is the right StackExchange forum for such a question. I'm looking for large data sets on world-wide ecology parameters, such as annual temperatures by latitude, annual rainfall, CO₂ and ...
1
vote
1answer
45 views

What do “reduced antipredator defense” and “reduced antipredator vigilance” mean?

The book BIOMAT 2010 (International Symposium on Mathematical and Computational Biology, edited by Rubem P. Mondaini) mentions the terms reduced antipredator defense and reduced antipredator ...
3
votes
1answer
47 views

What other cognitive behaviors in bees, outside of navigation, are affect by neonicotinoids

It is conclusive that neonicotinoids alter navigation in bees when locating food sources. http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0091364 But if so, shouldn't cognition also ...
5
votes
1answer
111 views

How to gather life-history traits data on bird species?

I am looking for a data base of life history traits for bird species. Is there such data base? If not, what are your advice on how to collect those data? Is there a handy website that list ...
6
votes
2answers
319 views

How did zootoxins evolve?

I've always wondered how toxins in certain organisms have evolved. Particularly, organisms that produce toxins as a deterrent to predators as opposed to organisms that use it to paralyze their prey. ...
1
vote
0answers
20 views

Are the words biology and Ecology ever interchangeable? [duplicate]

I often hear people use the word "Ecology" when i think they mean "biology." This got me wondering: are the words ever interchangeable, or are these people really just that frequently using the wrong ...
6
votes
3answers
323 views

Why are the fertility rates of large predators kept low?

Predators at the top of a food chain, like lions, seem to have a relatively low fertility rate, which fits well to the ecosystem and avoids overpredation. But what is the mechanism that keeps the ...
5
votes
1answer
38 views

Is “aggregate percentage” still a valid term in ecology?

Martin et al. 1946 define "aggregate percentage" as a metric that describes the mean percentage contribution of a group to the total mass/abundance of all samples. The metric is useful in datasets ...
3
votes
1answer
30 views

How to transform snail shells into a fertilizer? [closed]

I heard that the chemical structure of the snail shell has elements that help in waste water treatment and in some cases as a fertilizer? What is the process used to render snail shells into ...
1
vote
0answers
17 views

How does the snail shells' fertilizer compare to regular fertilizers?

May I ask about the quality of the fertilizer derived from the shells and their effectiveness compared to other fertilizers on the market ?
3
votes
1answer
46 views

Using Canonical Correspondence Analysis on matrices with missing data

I have a matrix of sites where not all the environmental variables I want to assess were sampled. In other words, there are sites with the whole set of variables sampled, and there are other sites ...
0
votes
0answers
29 views

What good are mosquitos? [duplicate]

Mosquitoes have been getting a bad press lately, for transmitting malaria, dengue, zika and numerous other diseases. Some reputable scientists are now talking seriously about extinguishing (making ...
4
votes
0answers
90 views

Escaping resource limitations during tumor evolution

In their discussion of the importance of r- and K-selection on tumors, Aktipis et al. (2013; figure 3) provide the following illustration of a hypothetical cancer growth curve: In it, you can see ...
6
votes
1answer
4k views

How does a pine cone open?

When a pine cone is wet, it remains closed. However, when it's dry it opens again. From the perspective of physics or biomechanics, what is the mechanism that allows a pine cone to open and close as ...
5
votes
1answer
143 views

The replicator equation vs the Lotka-Volterra equation

Background The replicator equation with $n$ strategies is given by the differential equation: \begin{equation} \dot x_{i} = x_{i} \left( \sum_{j=1}^{n} a_{ij}x_{j} - \phi \right) \qquad i = 1, ...
3
votes
2answers
89 views

Why do pine stands exist?

I live in the midwestern United States. I cycle to work, sometimes on heavily wooded roads, and I can't help but notice that in most places within the surrounding deciduous forests Pine and evergreen ...
3
votes
1answer
24 views

Mechanisms and Assumptions of the Species-Area Realtionship

I would like to choose a model to use to describe a species area relationship based on plant species richness data that I have collected. Rather than choosing the power model a priori, I am ...
1
vote
0answers
41 views

Large coalitions of lions taking over multiple prides?

I have noticed while watching lion documentaries that coalitions with more than 3 males tend to take over multiple prides and have 1 large pride in their territory while coalitions with 3 lions or ...
1
vote
1answer
77 views

What are the basic skills required to pursue future studies in theoretical ecology? [closed]

I am a student and just about to choose a project for my Master's thesis in biology. I want to pursue studies in theoretical ecology in the future. Between field ecology and computational biology (as ...
2
votes
1answer
123 views

How does the ideal free distribution work?

I have recently completed a study on Brent Goose. I found that Brent Geese occupy high quality habitat first then once this is full of geese, they fill up low quality habitat. However, there were ...
6
votes
1answer
77 views

Are there any animals that gradually approaches the predator to search for food?

I was wondering if there is an animal (or insect, bird, etc.) that eventually comes close to its predator to search for food, but only does so if it couldn't find food in the environment it is in. So ...
11
votes
1answer
162 views

How big should the human population be, as predicted by body mass?

I would guess there is a theory in biology which states that the population size for a given species is inversely proportional to the body mass of individuals in that species. In other words, there ...
6
votes
1answer
173 views

Is it theoretically possible to restore the Tiger population to 100,000?

The current global Tiger population is roughly 5100 according to Wikipedia. With habitat destruction and poaching continuing and no effective improvement in conservation, most likely the Tiger ...
5
votes
2answers
88 views

Evolution of spider webs?

Web making seems like a fairly complex behavior built from a pretty strong material. So how exactly did it evolve? Do we have any clues about what kind of features/behaviors preceded web making and ...
2
votes
1answer
103 views

Niche overlap Index

I wanted to use the compana() function from the adehabitat package in R. I don't really understand the meaning of the data in ...
0
votes
1answer
55 views

What makes animal to continually reproduce? [closed]

I was reading about Trypophobia and reached to Surinam Toad's reproduction methods. Then I had this doubt- Why would animals want to reproduce so much? In case of humans we mostly have the offsprings ...
3
votes
3answers
64 views

Are there inherent problems in simulating marine environments, as compared to terrestrial systems?

We cultivate a number of terrestrial organisms in greenhouses and stables where they live in completely artificial environments. This seems to extend far less to marine organisms, such as fish. ...
5
votes
0answers
45 views

Is high metabolism linked to high evolutionary turnover?

I recently read The Dinosaur Heresies by Robert T. Bakker, a 1986 popular science book presenting arguments for an active lifestyle and high metabolic rate in dinosaurs. One of the arguments that ...